The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Steadfast Refusal to Test Any More Building Materials is a Transparent Effort to Evade TSCA’s Legal Requirement to Remove PCBs at or above 50 ppm

“There is no safe level of PCBs. All they do is cause harm. They increase the risk of a great number of diseases, and the one that’s of most significance in a school is that they’re known to reduce cognitive function — learning and memory. And that’s the last thing you want in a school.”

David O. Carpenter, M.D., director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany.

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District’s Superintendent Sandra Lyon has spent over $6 million tax payer dollars to avoid a proper investigation and remediate all of the illegal levels of PCBs. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has thereby put the health of their students and teachers at risk.

The SMMUSD continues to stonewall source testing and ignore even the rooms directly next door to contaminated rooms, let alone the rest of the school. Students’ and District staffs health is at risk. If the caulking is the same color, kind and installed at the same time in the same building, then it is probable that all rooms also have PCBs over the legal limit.


See letter to Sandra Lyon and the SMMUSD’s Board of Education dated Oct. 7, 2013 from AMPS, Malibu High PTSA, The Shark Fund, The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu, members of the Malibu High School Site Council, & Malibu Special Education Demanding that the SMMUSD take Steps to Keep Our Children and Teachers Safe:


In January 2014, SMMUSD staff raised concerns about PCB exposure in Malibu High School and Middle School (MHS) and Juan Cabrillo Elementary School (JCS) after three teachers reported thyroid cancer diagnoses.

See letter to Sandra Lyon from 12 teachers at Malibu High School:


The City of Malibu through Resolution No. 14-58 requests that the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) conduct further source testing for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at all Malibu school campuses and in all rooms. Every inch of caulking does not need to be tested to verify there are PCBs. It is reasonable and based on standard building practices is responsible to assume that all like caulking in the same building contains PCBs. 

See City of Malibu’s Resolution below:


Despite the October 2013, January 2014 letters, and City of Malibu passing this Resolution, the SMMUSD refuses to relocate its students and teachers and administer any further testing, even turning down the offer of Malibu parent and supermodel Cindy Crawford to personally pay for the tests. The EPA, in the Oct, 31st, 2014 approval, made very clear that PCBs over 50ppm cannot be left in place. PCBs are not like lead paint and asbestos; they are not chemically the same nor are they handled by EPA the same way.

The SMMUSD is misleading the public with false statements to try and justify their choice to keep exposing Malibu children to cancerous, toxic PCBs.

America Unites Accuses the SMMUSD of Secret Cleaning

Click Here to Read

On Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, the SMMUSD ordered a “special” cleaning of the classrooms prior to Environ testing the dust and air. They asked teachers to remove all items from all surfaces so they can send a “special” crew to remove dust from surfaces; the same surfaces that Environ will be wipe testing hours later.

Click Here to see email


This renders PCB results meaningless. The goal of wipe and air testing is to see what the students and staff have been exposed to for the past 4 months. However, if they clean it hours before testing then any evidence of PCB exposure is removed.

This was done to guarantee the results are below EPA guidelines. Sadly, these test results will be nothing more than a PR move by the district to reassure parents and waste taxpayer dollars.

The SMMUSD appears to be more interested in attempting to limit their exposure to liability from a toxic tort complaint, rather than to just simply comply with the TSCA, and protect its students and teachers from this continuing harm.


5 teachers with thyroid cancer;

3 twenty-eight year old alumni with thyroid cancer;

18 teachers with thyroid disease;

9 alumni in their 20’s with thyroid disease;

One 22-year-old with environmentally induced melanoma;

2 teachers with environmentally induced melanoma; and

an uncountable amount of headaches, long lasting rashes, daily migraines, , infertility issues, hair loss, immune issues, respiratory issues, and diabetes.

if the classroom has no color coding, then the caulking has not been tested.


See the many test results which reveal shockingly high PCB exposure at Malibu High School and Jaun Cabrillo Elementary School:

7_17_14 Malibu_PCB_lab_results1-1


10_17_14_PCB 126 lab report J Cabrillo

10_17_14_PCB 126 lab report MHS

See Environs most recent test results which reveal that students and teachers are exposed to shockingly high PCB levels:


See America Unites for Kids & PEER’s:

Motion to test the caulk containing PCBs at Malibu High School and Jaun Cabrillo Elementary Schools:


Declaration of Jennifer Denicola with supporting emails from the US EPA Region 9:


There is a statistically significant “relationship” between spending your days at Malibu High School and Thyroid Cancer

For details, go to:



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